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Warrior of the Word.

Posted in The Flow and Rhythm of Life, The Writing Process (How do I Come up These Beats?) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 04/03/2013 by Angel D. Vargas

Sometimes a warrior just has to come home, throw their weapons in a corner, sink their tired, broken bodies into a chair and cry their eyes out.

 

Countless soldiers throughout history have probably done this. I know what we all see in the news when war heroes come home to their families. These survivors hug their spouses who’ve lived without their touch for years. They hug their children though they’ve missed precious milestones. Many people have moved on in their absence. Most have gone through their own trials and traumas. Still, everyone big and small feels that their story is the important one.

 

That’s just the human condition.

 

I’m guilty of this too. The good thing is I’m not alone. I’m about to tell you a story.

 

I’ve become a warrior of the word.

 

I know what you’re thinking. I sound like one of those nut jobs who quote the Bible and hurl Molotov cocktails into abortion clinics. If you’ve read some of my writing, you might think I’ve snapped and begun channeling one of my favorite characters.

 

“Pleasure to meet you. My name is Ezekiel.”

 

But that’s not the truth either. The reality may be just as difficult to fathom.

 

I moved back to New York two years ago. I had little money, a soaring credit card debt, and the wisp of a hope that I might get a job through a relative.

 

Time has a way of revealing one’s destiny. While I was putting interview clothes I couldn’t afford on a credit card, I was searching. I was waiting. I was hoping that I hadn’t wasted my time coming back home. I didn’t want a repeat of the six months I’d spent in Illinois trying to figure life out. That stretch of time saw me spinning my  wheels and not knowing how to make ends meet. Opportunities were few and far between. Though my best friend from college reached out to me and tried to help me out, I just wasn’t prepared for life in a Midwestern suburb. I didn’t even have a driver’s license. I failed.

 

Mental note. Don’t ever live in a suburb without a car or a license.

 

I came back home hoping that I wouldn’t go insane. I was a thirty something and living in a tiny apartment with my parents and my grown autistic brother.

 

If you’re doing a double take after that last statement, don’t worry. You won’t be the only one.

 

But times are tough for “thirty -somethings” these days. I’ve heard it all before. People in my generation with college degrees can’t even get into entry level retail work. I won’t even get into that hot mess. People have tough choices to make even though some of us just paid off twenty five thousand dollars in student loans. Sure, one could go back to school if one could somehow pay for it. Being out of college for more than a decade might mean your college credits mean nothing for all those associate’s programs.

 

There’s just one other hitch. Assuming that there are affordable school programs to attend, it pays to know which jobs aren’t being whittled down to nothing in this economy.

 

I was applying for a job in Portland, Oregon to work at a Sears as a clerk.  I applied online, landed the interview, and was asked to come in during a Thursday afternoon. The human resources recruiter seemed nice enough, but very sad and distracted throughout the conversation. After telling me that the original position was being whittled down from twenty hours a week to twelve due to “a major oversight,” he older woman turned to me and laid in on the line.

 

“There are thirty, forty, even fifty year old people applying for entry level clerk positions with this company. We’ve got people with Masters Degrees and PHD’s who need this work, and we can’t do much for them. Let’s face it. The economy is in the crapper.”

 

After 14 months in the city, I was able to land a part time job as a book seller at a local Barnes and Noble. Since then, I’ve not been able to attain anything else.

 

I think it might be safe to say that for some, the economy STILL looks like something a toilet bowl cleaner ought to erase.

 

Life is funny. Promises are broken, constant effort feels more like the definition of insanity, and broke people start to quote musicians and philosophers as though looking for a reason. Life can feel like a cruel joke. Of late, it leaves me feeling a bit like those broken warriors.

 

Is there a reason to it all? Is life what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans?

 

I’m still struggling with that question.

 

On one hand, I would officially call myself an underemployed janitor for the local Barnes and Noble. I just happen to know a thing or two about a book.

 

Perhaps that’s because I’m writing them.

 

Writing has been an anchor for me since I reclaimed it more than a year ago. I might never be a real estate tycoon or win the lottery, but writing is something that I will be able to do no matter what my financial or family status. I won’t put the computer down unless it breaks. Even if that happens, I used to use a little something called a pen, and I used to put that object to another handy object called “paper.”

 

The things one learns in school really can make a difference.

 

Nobody talks to me for more than a few minutes without realizing I’ve got more sarcasm in my pinky then most have in their entire bodies. But I shudder to think what my life would be like today if I hadn’t started to write. I’m not always going to write short stories or books. I can’t imagine I will always show my words to people. But I’ve made a few good friends along the way. People have read my words. More will read them one day, and I may even be able to make a decent living because of it.

 

Life seems to be split down the middle of chaos. On the one hand, I don’t make enough money at my current job to scratch my testicles. But on the flip side, I write because I have the time and the imagination to come up with the stuff. Real life might not be glamorous, but it offers me a chance to experience love, hate, anger, euphoria, and all the other emotions that I can pour with such realism into each and every one of my made up characters.

 

Fate doesn’t normally interest me. I like to think that I am always in control of my own life. These last few years have been like a huge dose of humble pie. I’m not powerless, but curious things do happen when I allow myself to engage in what matters to me. In the last year, people have come to me that I did not expect. People have read my words, and some have been able to relate. A special someone has danced their way into my life.

 

Philosophical discussions of fate either annoy or terrify people like me. Maybe that’s why fate sneaks up on so many of us. It probably happens despite everything I believe, and all I can do is the best that I can until God or the universe reveals my purpose.

 

Until that happens, I’ll write, I’ll love, and I ride on the roller coaster that is my life. I can’t be the fatalist, but I can sure as hell strap in. Let other people deal when someone releases the fucking Kraken. I’ll write a book about it when it’s over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More than half a year …

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 03/26/2013 by Angel D. Vargas

It’s been more than half a year now since I started my serial, Unbreakable. Its evolution has been incredible, at least to me. I hope my readers feel the same way if they’ve been keeping up.

I’ve had to pull back to writing and posting something every two weeks. I think it’s working so far. I was able to come back to this latest installment with some fresh perspective. I wonder how it will change the direction of this serial. I hope you’re all as excited as I am.

Speaking of which, it is time for the mighty Zeke to get his bearings again after losing his way. I rather know how that feels.

Than again, sometimes those skin conditions can make you look like kind of a yeti in the morning, neh? 😉

Read chapter 26 of “Unbreakable.” Celebrate more than half a year of crazy stuff written by yours truly. Enjoy it. Vote on it!  Spread the word too, especially if you enjoy monsters, people with incredible, untapped power, and children who may or may not have demonic relatives. I’m rather partial to this serial. I want others to enjoy it too.

 

 

 

@}–;——

Posted in The Flow and Rhythm of Life with tags , , , on 03/14/2013 by Angel D. Vargas

Hello all. Follow the bouncing ball. It’s been a while. 🙂

 

 

I remember the blog post when I was about to declare myself in need of a separate blog. It didn’t take long for my girlfriend to scan my blog one day and point out to me that most of my last posts were about my writing projects. There was nothing personal written in any of them.

 

Most would have thought I was too busy to pick my head up and say hello to the rest of the world.  Most might still think that. It’s just a little bizarre to me that social networking could make my life’s moments an instant event to family and friends, and yet they can also keep people from connecting with each other in any real way.

 

The truth is life has been replete with change.

 

It’s a funny thing to be able to say that after I look in a mirror. I’m still short, and still devastatingly handsome. Well, the truth is I’ve gained some weight, but that might be because I’ve yet to get used to some changes in my routine, including eating habits.

 

I’m also still funny, though that comes in spurts.

 

I’ve been seeing someone for just over a month. She’s a belly dancer/modern dancer, grant writer, kickboxing superwoman who happens to like lynxes and be interested in the paranormal. She supports my writing as much as I support her dancing. Her intelligence and sensitivity can only be matched by her creative spark.

 

She’s also a babe.

 

Just last night, she geeked out with me. We watched the Robot Combat League on the Syfy channel while eating a dinner I cooked for us both and sipping on Blood Orange Smirnoffs. The apartment cat even came to sit with us. She’s trying to turn him into a “treat monster.”

 

Life was pretty close to perfect at that moment.

 

Some small part of me keeps waiting for the Gods to tell me she isn’t real, that she’s some sort of cruel hoax. That’s a dark part of me that I don’t always like.

 

The rest of me is happier than I’ve been in a long time.

 

Other things have happened, of course. I finally bit the bullet when it came to my first novel manuscript and I sent it to a publisher. I should consider sending it to others, but for right now, I’m still shocked that I went ahead and did it at all.

 

I’ve also begun the search for a new apartment and a new job.

 

I can sit here and preach all I want to about following dreams. When the itchy palms and the restless nights begin to consume me, I know it’s because I am doing things that are beyond my comfort zone. I have to accept that. Nobody can pursue their dreams without a great deal of risk.

 

Other friends of mine have moved on from their fears and frustrations to chase their own dreams. It takes a lot of work. I hope it’s worth it.

 

I’ve got a lot on my plate, as always. This isn’t even going to be a very long blog entry. But I promise you all one thing.

 

I’m alive.

 

P.S. Nobody beats an astronaut. Don’t ask.

 

 

Working on chapter 11

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 11/28/2012 by Angel D. Vargas

I kid you not when I say that working on four major projects at once is a daunting task. Only writing could ever make me work that hard or be this rewarding.

 

Speaking of my writing, Unbreakable, chapters oneten has done fairly well in the rankings, but I am not yet among the top thirty. While my determination says that this serial is bound to be a success no matter the votes, the reality is I still need a fair fan base voting on my serial in order for it to continue. The editor at Jukepop Serials has been kind enough to remind us of this fact every once in a blue moon, and I for one do not intend to be voted off the island, as it were, by not getting votes.

 

I’ve gotten 60 votes. That’s not bad for something that’s only ten chapters in length. I’ll need more, though. I know you guys are out there. Even your Thanksgiving leftovers are gone, black Friday and Cyber Monday are over (though the deals are still kind of hot), and you’re going to need a break from it all. Those who enjoy horror/paranormal stories should take their goose bump- enjoying, thrill-seeking selves  to Unbreakable and get something out of it. And when you get there and vote on any or all of my chapters, tell your friends and have your friends tell their friends.

 

I wonder if I can hit seventy + votes this week. I’ve got a new chapter coming tomorrow. Let’s see how this goes, shall we? Look forward to this newest installment. It provides some interesting insights into two of my favorite characters ever.

 

Speaking of, it’s time to finish writing chapter 11. Adios for now.

 

 

 

 

Oh Yeah? Well read this!

Posted in Drum Roll, The Writing Process (How do I Come up These Beats?) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11/15/2012 by Angel D. Vargas

That’s right, ladies and germs. The ninth chapter of my serial, ‘Unbreakable’ is up and ready for your reading pleasure at Jukepopserials.com. As always, remember to cast your vote for me if this meets with your approval. I’ve worked hard to eliminate the formatting issue that I encountered just after I posted chapter eight last week.  It takes quite a bit to write and edit these chapters. Fun as it is to come up with a great end product, I don’t enjoy editing as much as I enjoy writing, but it matters a great deal to me. Just ask anyone who’s ever seen me review the writing of others on writing.com sometime. 😉

Read, enjoy, vote, and tell your friends to read and vote on Unbreakable if they like paranormal horror. Tell your friends to tell their friends too! The more the merrier! I think there may be something for everyone in this story (unless you’re looking for erotica. That will come with my first book 😛 )

On an even happier note, I’ve just hit 50 votes! I’m stoked. Now it’s time to push that number up even higher. Got comments? Bring ’em!

Got milk? Meh. I’ll take a Guiness instead.

In The Thick of It

Posted in The Flow and Rhythm of Life, The Writing Process (How do I Come up These Beats?) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 09/28/2012 by Angel D. Vargas

Ok. I’m going to get to the heart of the matter.

Life is weird. Life is hard. I don’t know why, but I’m going through a blue period.

It isn’t as though there’s any reason that I can discern for it. Life may be hard, but I am living my dreams. I am writing for the masses. I hope to make some money at it someday. My work is being read by more and more people. I am having fun losing myself in the universes that I create.

I also feel alone even when I am surrounded by others.

I somehow don’t know how to react to the taste of success. It could be seconds away from my fingertips, and I would have an attack of nerves. I’d get cold feet  if I had to give a speech in public. Maybe I should just read it in someone else’s voice!

I’ve gotten colder. I’m not going to lie. My inner warrior took over. My mind has been on nothing but self defense and survival for so long now, that I can’t seem to shut it off and just breathe. I can’t put down the sword.

How often does one receive an anonymous gift of flowers?

And how did I forget to breathe when I got that gift? It doesn’t seem right to me.

Plainly, I’ve more work to do in learning to accept friendship, gratitude, love, admiration, and respect. I somehow got the impression that I didn’t deserve any of those things. I’m not going to delve into my past. I’ve already been there and done that. It’s time to move on.

I made a video tonight with new free editing software. In truth, I’m not at all sure how I did it. I didn’t add any effects. I didn’t speed anything up or slow anything down. It just sort of came together and turned out pretty well. My writing is the same way.  I don’t know where the fuck the next sentence is going to come from, but I plunk down one and than another. Before I even realize what I’ve done, I’ve amassed more than a thousand words inside of an hour.

I feel like my life has been that way. I don’t have a plan. I just get up, suit up, show up and hope to goodness that something good comes from my efforts.

Life often fucks with me when I make too many plans. So I have to tread with some care, it seems.

I’m awfully tired lately. I have a short fuse. People who waste my time become nothing but irritants.

And I’m worrying everyone around me. Co workers shake their heads and wonder why I go silent. Friends ask me what the matter is. My parents cock their heads and furrow their brows.

I feel like telling them all to back off.

But I won’t. It isn’t anyone’s intention to get under my skin or to try to make me admit to things that I don’t want to talk about. But the only answer I have for such a question is “don’t give up on me.” I can’t speed this along. I’m obviously in it. I’ll figure my way out of it. I always do.

Though I wonder if I’ve spent my entire life living with such a pattern. Perhaps these mood swings are seasonal in nature. It might explain why I brood so much during the fall.

Then again, maybe I brood because I haven’t yet learned to recognize my own progress.

It’s a lesson we might all need to be reminded of. It pays to take stock, but to focus too narrowly on one single detail can be toxic.

I’ll hold onto my flowers. I’ll keep writing my stories. I’ll keep blogging, recording my voice and making my vids.

I’ll keep trucking. With some better rest along the way, even I might learn to see the bright side of life.

Until then, maybe it’s best if I just get through the obstacles in my way and move along until I give a damn again.

Anyways, enjoy the vid. I made this bad boy myself 😉

 

 

 

 

Have At!

Posted in The Flow and Rhythm of Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 09/16/2012 by Angel D. Vargas

You want a video to indicate how I feel at the moment, have at this one ..

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